Statements by Vera Polycarpou, member of the Central Committee of AKEL and Head of International Relations and European Policy of AKEL
‘Astra’ radio station, Friday 25 February 2022
Astra: Do you agree with the Parliamentary Spokesman of the ruling DISY party Nikos Tornaritis that “Russia has never been on our side” and that this war will lead the EU to form its own army? We know that AKEL strongly disagrees with this possibility and I don’t know if it could help peace itself…
VP: No war can have any positives. That’s the first thing we should say. That is, unless it is a war of liberation, for example, to liberate the colonies from the British, French, Belgian and Spanish colonialists, in the Third World as they called it. I don’t think the other wars waged, the world wars, etc., resulted in anything good, but only devastation.
However, I would like to comment on Mr. Tornaritis’ reference that “Russia has never been on our side”. I think we have to be extremely careful, especially when this position is being expressed by the ruling party, because it is simply not true. We have to be very, very careful for the future as well.
Astra: Of course we were all surprised by Mr. Lavrov’s reference…
VP: Yes, that’s why an explanation should be officially requested through the Foreign Ministry so that we know exactly how it was said, what was actually said and what they mean. But that doesn’t mean that we should write off everything that the Soviet Union and subsequently Russia has done at the UN Security Council on the Cyprus problem, but also to date.
Astra: Yes it has obstructed many plans – especially those promoted by the British – in the UN Security Council for the partition Cyprus…
VP: Yes, exactly. We shouldn’t in that we are against the war right now and condemn the invasion and the violation of the national sovereignty of Ukraine – that doesn’t mean we should forget many events and facts as well because the Pandora’s Box of all these developments was opened at the end of the 20th century by others. It was opened by Germany, NATO and the United States on the territory of Yugoslavia. What occurred in Kosovo and so many people perished did constitute a flagrant violation of international law and it is still not a situation where people can live in safely in the region. It is said that the Pandora’s Box will open again there (Note: in the West Balkans). Russia had said back then “don’t open the Pandora’s Box”. Unfortunately, the Pandora’s Box has been opened and it is the peoples who are suffering.
The second point regarding the reference by the DISY representative to the strengthening of the military wing of the European Union is something that we as AKEL are against. For sure, on the pretext now that it must be strengthened, we see that this will be promoted speedily, especially after Britain’s withdrawal from the EU, which argued that “We have NATO, we don’t need the military wing of the EU”. Both Germany and France are promoting the EU’s militarisation intensively because this also strengthens their military and arms industry.
Astra: How do you assess the measures that were decided by the European Union? Are they measures that might be able to influence Russia or are they just measures to be announced one more time, because from what our correspondent in Brussels has said, they are waiting to see how things will develop and maybe they will impose stricter measures.
VP: This is not the first time that measures have been decided and imposed against Russia. It was part of a continuous escalation and a strong cultivation of Russophobia, along with a war launched at all levels against Russia on many levels, especially from the Baltic Republics and Poland and so on.
However, these measures have led nowhere but to a deterioration of relations – perhaps they have even contributed to the terrible situation we see today with this war. They have also had an impact on Europeans, on the peoples of the EU. For example, French farmers and producers who could not export their dairy products to Russia. It’s a series of repercussions that the producers and the people will face, in the EU itself. Not to mention the effect this will have on energy prices, for example, and there will be a chain effect.
I don’t think that these measures will stop Russia from pursuing the policy it has decided. Unfortunately, the imposition of sanctions that do not come from the United Nations is not something that is respected in international law. We have seen measures that were effective only in the case of South Africa against apartheid.
I would like to see the European Union approve ONE of these measures against Israel, which flagrantly violates the rights of the Palestinian people since 1967. How many Palestinians, how many children, are in prison, how many are killed in this country which does not have independence and which has been under occupation since 1967? Israel is a very friendly and close ally of both the United States and the European Union.
The double standards that have been implemented over the years against so many peoples are in themselves annulling the measures. As far as the effects, they will be against all peoples and all sides.
Astra: The policy of double standards also apply in the case of Cyprus on the part of the EU and we have seen this happening so many times.
VP: Of course…And not only the European Union, but also on the part of the United States very, very strongly.
We hope that the war will end and no people will be killed.

Leave a Reply